My March loan recient has been making her regularly scheduled payments to Kiva, which have been going back into my account. Rather than wait until my current loanee has paid back her loan, I went ahead, it being the first of the month and part of the 43-Day Plan, and made another loan. This one went to Zaida Ximena, a young woman living in La Paz, Bolivia, who requested the money to make structual improvements to her small food stall. Her online story reads:
“22-year old Sra. Zaida is single and earns her living selling breakfast items such as coffee, herbal teas, and sandwiches at one of the markets in the El Tejar area. This will be her first loan with the institution, and she plans to use the money to buy construction materials and improve her stall so that it attracts more customers. She doesn’t have enough money of her own to buy the materials.”
“One of the challenges that Zaida faces is competition in the market for breakfasts. She will use the profit she makes as working capital and to make improvements to her stall. One day she hopes to buy another stall and expand her business. “
I’m a tiny bit skeptical about this one, since the photo attatched to this “22 year old’s” biography is time-stamped 10/11/2006. Maybe it is just that someone doesn’t know how to update the camera, or thought it wasn’t important. I was attracted to the group who disperses the money because they offer a lot of loan services, including housing loans, salary loans, “opportunity” (short-term) loans, and higher education loans. I also like that they offer free medical consultations and health classes given by trained doctors. When was the last time your bank arranged for you to have a free doctor’s exam, or sponsored a health class and invited you? In a country where a $900 loan for construction material constitutes about 1/3 the population’s average per person annual income, it is important to me that the lender be invested in the community in a positive and helpful way.
I’m making a Kiva loan to Lidia Elizabeth Leon Ulon to help her buy flour, eggs and milk for her bread baking business. She lived in Ecuador and owns her business, supporting two assistants. My contribution bring the subsidizing of her prepaid load to 20%. In a place where the annual income in below $5,000, she is seeking a fairly large sum to improve her business. Right now I think big dreams should be supported. The organization that loaned her the money has a reputation for making micro loans in regions where banks will not traditionally go, and lending to people outside the comfort zone of banks. The organization is rated one of the best micro-lenders in Latin America, and all borrowers and their dependents receive mandatory health and life insurance (not clear on whether this is provided gratis or the borrowers are charged).
I’m making a new Kiva loan to María Hermelinda Siancas Collao, a woman living in Ascope, Peru. I was going to try a find someone in Asia to make a loan to, but I saw this young woman’s profile and found her goal and ambition intruiging.
María is 25 years old, single, and lives with her mother and her two siblings. She has her own house, which is located in the rural zone of the district of Chocope, La Libertad department.
María sells fresh cow milk, which she has been doing for two years. She makes most of her sales in the area where she lives, to her friends and acquaintances, as well as in the district of Paijan.
María is requesting a loan of 1,500 nuevos soles from Edpyme Alternativa in order to buy a motocarguero (a motorcycle with a cabin for transporting things), which she will use to transport her milk more easily.
María has good references from her neighbors and people who know her, as they describe her as a hard-working and responsible person.
Because of my recent work with the farm and my playing around with raw milk, I’m interested in seeing this young woman realize her plans. I also think it is cool that she is making a long term investment in a motocarguero and I like to imagine her puttering from house to house, racks laden with fresh milk.
My contribution brings her to within $50 of having the loan fully funded. The loan has already been dispursed by Edpyme Alternativa, the Kiva field partner, so maybe she even already has her motocarguero (you can see one behind her in the photo). Looking at my own resources, I might go back and finish funding her loan to help make up for how lazy I’ve been on this goal.
After an inexcusably long delay, I finally made another loan through Kiva. My orginal lendee, Ms. Agola from Kenya, dutifully paid back her loan, on time and in full, and that gave me a credit in my Kiva account. After some time browsing I chose a woman in San Martin, Peru to make a loan to. Her name is Damaris and she has a motorcycle and motortaxi washing service. She needed a loan to buy a new compressor for her power-washer, an inventory of detergent and several brushes.
This time I paid more attention to the field partner, the organization that actually makes the loans. They have funded nearly 7,500 entrepreneuars and loaned over $3.5 million dollars, and they have a very good history of repayment. The field partner has already given Damaris the actually loan, me and several other donors have mearly “back-filled” it, or replenished the coffiers of the field partner, enabling them to contine funding loans. I guess in reality my money will go to someone entirely different, but will be paid back by Damaris.
Damaris, 29, is a member of the “Los Eucaliptos” communal bank in Tarapoto district, San Martin province. She has a live in partner and a son who still depends on her…
Damaris feels happy to belong to a group of women that have helped her become more aware of her rights. She is quite grateful to the Manuela Ramos Movement for helping her enter the business world.
I first recall encountering kiva.org as one of Kristun’s goals. I did some research on it and liked the idea of supporting and sponsoring not only the individuals featured on the site, but the micro-financing institutions themselves. I’m not one to loan money, I’d rather give it with no conditions on repayment to someone in need. But I like the sense of community and I certainly think this is a method by which we fat, rich, indulgent Westerners can have a real and valuable impact on other people whose daily lives we cannot imagine.
My first loan went to Elizabeth Emily Agola who lives in Nairobi, Kenya and wants the loan to buy fish and second hand clothes which she sells out of a stall. The average annual income for Kenya is $1,445. My loan allows Elizabeth to be fully funded now. I used to date a woman from Kenya, and it is nice to be able to assist someone from a place where I have a tenuous connection. Always amazed by that six degrees of seperation. I guarantee you she knows somebody who knows somebody who knows my former girlfriend, who knows me.
Elizabeth is 45 years old and has five children, two of whom are in school. Her husband is a cleaning agent. She has been selling fish for three years. She obtains the fish from Lake Victoria and sells them to Umoja residents. Previously, she was only selling second-hand clothing, which she still continues. She hopes to export fish in the future. Elizabeth describes herself as hardworking and focused.